Springfield, MA – Feb. 19, 2008 – Nineteen community colleges from across the country were awarded a total of $108,100 in the Elevator Grant competition funded by The Coleman Foundation and the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation at the 2008 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Conference, held in January in San Antonio, TX.
“The Elevator Grants competition has become one of the most anticipated parts of our annual conference,” said Heather Van Sickle, executive director of NACCE. “This year, 46 applicants from community colleges across the nation submitted proposals. Then 26 finalists gave a three-minute, in-person pitch to foundation representatives at our conference. The amount of the grants given this year was a significant increase from the $73,500 awarded to 15 schools last year, so we believe the proposals and presentations are getting stronger and stronger.”
The Elevator Grant program employs small investments in four categories of work to introduce or expand self-employment education on campus: curriculum expansion, community outreach, faculty development and linkage activities between community colleges and secondary and post-secondary institutions. The method of awarding the grants is based on the business planning skill of describing a new business venture in a three-minute pitch given to a potential investor during an elevator ride.
Using similar concepts, the Coleman Foundation and Hughes Foundation have conducted sessions for secondary, community college and collegiate educators over the last six years to demonstrate the impact of quick, well-placed small grants and to promote the value of self-employment education. Immediate deliberation by the foundations’ board and staff ensured and “on the spot” funding in the form of grant checks were delivered to grant recipients the following day.
Colleges Receiving Grants from The Coleman Foundation
Bunker Hill Community College, MA - $5,000 to support the Community Center for Entrepreneurship designed to promote understanding and growth of entrepreneurship opportunities across disciplines and includes students, faculty, workforce development and administration. Chemeketa Community College, OR - $7,500 to support Business Success Teams, a peer advising group that assists small business owners through the Microenterprises Resources Initiatives and Training program. Colorado Mountain College, CO - $5,000 to initiate, develop and host a conference on best practices for teaching entrepreneurship for educators from secondary and post-secondary schools as well as practicing entrepreneurs. Dakota County Technical College, MN - $3,600 to create The Sounding Board, a networking and continuing education program for local women entrepreneurs. Edmonds Community College, WA- $5,000 to assist with curriculum development and marketing a program to develop workshops for business owners which combines technology awareness in business planning in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center. Harrisburg Area Community College, PA - $7,500 to expand Women's Talkabouts, networking sessions for women entrepreneurs to new geographies and to establish the First Friday weekly walk-in support program. Indian River Community College (IRCC), FL - $7,500 to expand the Lunch & Learn Series, a partnership with the IRCC Incubator, Martin and Indian River County Economic Council to assist entrepreneurs and local business owners to grasp the realities and overcome challenges of business ownership. Lehigh Carbon Community College, OH – $5,000 to expand the Self-Employment Assistance Program model for noncredit entrepreneurship education programming and infuse it throughout the credit curricula. Miami Dade College, FL - $7,500 to support training of six faculty members at the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship University to enable delivery of a new certificate program. Northland Pioneer College, AZ - $5,000 to develop a series of workshops to attract Native American students to enroll in the Certificate or Associate Degree in small business program. Pulaski Technical College, AK - $5,000 to develop and implement two Small Business Summits, including workshops on self-employment topics; facilitate student exposure to entrepreneurs; and community outreach to emerging and current business owners. Technical College of the Lowcountry, SC - $5,500 to continue and expand the Entrepreneurship in the Local Community initiative to provide focused entrepreneurship training and conduct a feasibility study for a student business incubator. West Kentucky Community and Technical College, KY - $5,000 to provide advertising, marketing and scholarship support for entrepreneurship instructional programs. West Shore Community College, MI - $5,000 to support a pilot program to provide a basic entrepreneurship course for high school juniors and seniors at Pentwater High School in Michigan. The class will be a three-credit course with dual enrollment. Williston State College, ND - $5,000 to support an educational needs assessment for local entrepreneurs; development and delivery or related workshops and courses; design of an internship program; and outreach efforts to local high schools.
Colleges Receiving Grants from the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation
El Paso Community College, TX - $5,000 to support development and delivery of four workshops on self-employment topics in partnership with the college’s Students in Free Enterprise team.
Daytona Beach College, FL - $7,500 to establish and promote a student resource center to increase student access to local Small Business Development Center support. South Central College, MN - $7,500 to provide classroom training and one-on-one consulting to rural entrepreneurs. Montgomery College, MD - $4,000 to support a series of 20 Entrepreneur Roundtables giving students direct exposure to entrepreneurs to increase student and faculty awareness of the relevance of entrepreneurship to their technical and academic fields and careers.
About The Coleman Foundation The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaker focusing primarily on the Midwest. Foundation resources support education – with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, cancer care, treatment and research; and disability services. In 1981, the Foundation began to question why individuals are encouraged to “get a job” rather than to create one. Since that time the Foundation has committed over $41 million to promote the option of self-employment, improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, and help create a new generation of business owners. For more information, visit http://www.colemanfoundation.org.
About the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation is a private, charitable family foundation engaged in a range of philanthropic programs, primarily for entrepreneurship awareness and education.
About the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference, hosts a dynamic list-serv, develops web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs, as well as, tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com.